I’ve been a full-time content writer for several years now. Content writing is both the best job I’ve ever had and sometimes the most difficult.
Is content writing a stressful job?
Content writing is a stressful job. Content writers must meet tight deadlines, keep up with a changing content landscape, and face ongoing algorithm updates that can plummet website traffic and revenue. Content writers also must stay motivated and balanced while juggling multiple projects.
In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the stress involved in content writing.
Is Content Writing a Stressful Job? (11 Biggest Stressors Explained)
In my experience, there are at least 11 big stressors for content writers.
Some of those stressors are self-imposed while others come from external sources like clients, content platforms, and a constant barrage of algorithm updates.
The uncertainty of content writing is a real threat to your peace of mind.
So, let’s take a closer look at these big stressors and how to deal with them in your content writing career.
1) Meeting Tight Deadlines
Writing content can be one of the most stressful parts of running a business or website.
As a content creator, you’re tasked with constantly producing new, quality work that meets tight deadlines.
Whether it’s churning out several blog posts a month for your own sites and online platforms, or meeting due dates set by clients, you need to be able to handle all of this while remaining organized and efficient.
Writing under pressure is already daunting enough, but it gets even more difficult when you throw in the additional stressors like producing content for multiple websites (like I do), multiple platforms, and multiple clients (again, that’s me).
It’s stressful and it is super important that you set habits and protocols for managing your everyday stress as a content writer.
2) Keeping Up With the Ever-Evolving Content Landscape
Content writing can be a difficult feat for any writer – and the primary reason why some of us break out in hives when we hear those two dreaded words is that the content landscape never stands still.
What worked yesterday may not work today.
It’s enough to send you straight into a panic – especially when you consider how dauntingly fast-paced digital marketing is.
We’re all expected to keep up with the latest algorithms, trends, and strategies. The ever-changing list of keywords that are now en vogue creates an entirely new language we must learn if we want to stay at the top of our game.
It’s surprisingly easy to get lost in the sea of videos, articles, podcasts, and social media posts about the changes.
Yes, content writing can indeed be stressful; but it is also incredibly rewarding when things come together just right.
3) Making Sure Your Content Is Error-Free and High Quality
Another reason that writing content can be an incredibly stressful experience is the pressure to produce perfect content.
We are constantly engaged in an endless loop of topic generation, research, and fine-tuning.
Whenever I’m doing any sort of writing, part of my brain is always running a mental checklist that goes like this:
- Is the grammar correct?
- Are there enough facts to make my argument?
- How do I create a tone that resonates with the audience?
- Does my explanation make sense?
- Do I need to make a video for this blog post?
It can be downright exhausting!
If you’re not careful, chasing perfection can take all the joy out of writing.
No wonder so many content writers suffer from stress and anxiety. It’s like we always have a huge set of standards to live up to, instead of feeling free to write whatever comes out.
While perfection isn’t necessary, consistently writing high-quality articles free of most errors is a stressful task.
4) Staying Motivated and Creative
Staying motivated and creative despite various bumps on the road is no easy task.
I’m sure many content writers have been there – banging their heads against the wall because of writer’s block or having a deadline creeping up without any progress made so far.
Or, trying to stay creative and productive when there are personal problems floating around their heads or when disappointments keep raining down.
That ain’t fun.
This kind of daily stress might occasionally bring out the best in a truly professional writer – but it can also wear you out fast.
5) Facing Ongoing Algorithm Updates
Writing content for the web is a stress-fest in and of itself, but knowing that your SEO rankings could be spun on their head overnight is a crapshoot no one wants to roll.
Just when you think you’re settled into the rhythm of creating awesome articles that give your readers what they need and rank high on Google, BAM!
Algorithms shift, ranking signals change, and suddenly all your hard work just doesn’t pay off anymore.
Sure, you can update your existing copy if you already know what the new algorithm preferences are…but how are you supposed to stay ahead of those curveballs if you constantly have to play defense?
It’s enough to make even the bravest content writer want to throw in the towel.
In my experience, it always pays off in the end to do more than tread water with every new algorithm update; start doing something proactive like learning about new on-page SEO techniques or investigating ways to get more organic backlinks.
That way, when trends inevitably change again, you’re prepared rather than behind the eight ball.
It may be stressful now—but believe me, keeping up with changes like these will save you endless heartache in Google purgatory later.
6) Networking To Find Clients and Build Relationships
One aspect of content writing that causes a lot of stress for freelancers and business owners/managers alike is networking.
Finding trustworthy clients who provide a steady flow of work can be difficult.
Networking often means attending events by yourself to mingle with complete strangers or reaching out to folks online via platforms like LinkedIn to build relationships.
Plus, once you get your foot in the door you must provide stellar work complete with audience engagement knowledge and research skills just to hold your ground as a professional writer—this can turn into yet another stressful hurdle.
And there is no guarantee that they will keep you on as a freelance content writer.
That means always keeping other potential clients in your freelance pipeline.
7) Staying Organized and Efficient With a Full Workload
Remaining organized and efficient is an important part of being a successful content writer.
As someone who’s been plugging away at this type of work for a few years now, I can tell you firsthand that it can sometimes feel like trying to balance on a high wire while being attacked by mosquitos.
Being able to keep track of all the assignments flooding in and procrastinating as little as possible takes serious skill.
And if any of your efforts fail, you often find yourself in an explosive situation because now time constraints threaten to derail your entire business.
8) Balancing Between Writing for Yourself and Writing for Others
As a content writer, it can be incredibly stressful to ride the fine line between writing for yourself and writing for others.
After all, you’re trying to juggle your personal artistic aspirations with fulfilling what produces a consistent income stream. It’s honestly kind of like a weird version of dodgeball except instead of trying to avoid red rubber balls flying at you at insane speeds, you’re having to battle being true to yourself while also getting that paycheck at the end of the day.
When I first started out creating content for others, I thought this balancing act would be easy.
Just create amazing stuff and get paid to do it – no stress!
But I quickly realized that wasn’t exactly reality.
A lot of my work was focused on topics and styles that weren’t exactly my favorite subjects, but because they worked so well from an SEO perspective, it meant that career success demanded these compromises.
Do I still write about things that inspire me? Of course!
And often within the confines of what’s required by my projects. It’s extremely difficult at times, but that’s why writers need creativity and focus.
9) Dealing With Rejections, Criticism, or Feedback
Whenever I get negative criticism, it’s like being kicked in the gut.
It is usually not intentional and sometimes it comes from a well-meaning place, but it stings just the same. In their defense, most readers are kind and sensible, so most reactions are mild to positive.
But every now and then, someone takes offense to one of my articles and they come out swinging.
It’s a reality that writers have to face, even if we feel personally attacked by certain comments or remarks.
We shouldn’t take our readers’ criticism lightly but we should also learn how to let it go in order to keep producing content from a positive place of creative helpfulness instead of paralyzing fear.
10) Isolation and Loneliness
If you’re a content writer, chances are you’ve felt the stress of being completely isolated and left to your own devices.
Not only do you have to complete the task at hand without any help, but you also must create it all on your own without outside input.
It can be immensely overwhelming when working from home all by yourself.
I’m a self-proclaimed introvert but I still feel lonely at times.
The lack of both team-based and one-on-one collaboration compounds this feeling of loneliness and isolation, which can really kill the motivation necessary to get work done in a timely manner.
Between making hectic deadlines, never-ending research, and endless revisions – not having someone around for emotional or intellectual support can be truly taxing – both mentally & emotionally.
11) Having To Juggle Multiple Projects at Once
You must balance working on multiple projects all at once and it can be a juggling act at times.
All this stress can lead to a lot of sleepless nights as your brain works around the clock trying to meet deadlines and ensure that everything is perfect.
Although working hard and dedicating ample time to the task at hand may seem impressive, it’s never good practice to pull grueling hours with no respite in sight.
Let’s face it, sometimes you just need to take some deep breaths and watch funny cat videos on YouTube.
Is Content Writing a Stressful Job for Beginners?
For many novice content writers, the dream of becoming a successful freelancer is full of stress.
Even though freelance writing offers great freedom and flexibility, breaking into the world of content writing almost requires a certain degree of feeling overwhelmed.
Beginners must be resourceful to find clients, be well-versed in website building and SEO, and wait patiently for organic traffic and subsequent income.
The truth is that content writing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Quite the opposite actually.
It takes time for sure, with hefty doses of effort and unwavering determination thrown in for good measure. All of these are bound to add to the initial stress level of beginners as they navigate their way through content writing.
Here is a good video about, “Is Content Writing a Stressful Job?”:
Is Content Writing a Stressful Job Forever?
Yes, content writing is always stressful.
There are ways to mitigate the stress (more on that in a moment). But there will probably never be a time when your stress level is zero (unless you are a monk with Zen-like peace).
There will always be Google updates, technology changes, clients who ghost, leaner months, etc.
It would be unfair of me to try to convince you that there will be some concrete marker in the future – be it one year or five – where your stress will instantly melt away.
Life (and content writing) just doesn’t work like that.
However, as I mentioned, you can reduce your stress to manageable levels. Let’s look at some good ways that I’ve learned from personal experience as a content writer.
How To Make Content Writing Less Stressful
Content creator burnout is very real – if you’re not careful, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the tasks on your to-do list.
The key is knowing how to manage (and even embrace) the stress that comes along with creating great content.
Here are a few ways to make content writing less stressful:
- Set Reachable Goals – Setting realistic goals for yourself each day can help you stay on top of looming deadlines without feeling too overwhelmed. Take some time each week to plan out your goal-setting strategy.
- Pause Regularly – Taking breaks throughout the day also helps prevent burnout or frustration from building up too much at once.
- Celebrate Small – Celebrate milestones like finished projects or conquering an intimidating task. Acknowledging these accomplishments can help boost morale during times when it feels like nothing is going right.
- Join a Community – Connect with like-minded peers and mentors who understand the ups and downs of being a creator, and who will offer intellectual guidance and social support.
- Manage Risk With Diversity – Focus on diversifying your income sources and managing risk. Explore different outlets such as display ads, affiliate marketing, and writing platforms that pay you – or look into taking on private clients. I do all of these.
- Create a Centering Practice – Try establishing a centering practice for yourself, be it yoga, meditation, or running. A centering practice will mitigate stress and allow you to enter a space of peaceful productivity.
- Use Content Tools – Use tools for research and content writing. They can save you tons of time and effort, all of which lower your stress levels. Two of my favorites are Jasper AI Writer and the PassiveIncomeGeek blogging program.
Final Thoughts: Is Content Writing a Stressful Job?
I don’t want content writing to sound all doom and gloom.
Working for myself and paying the bills with my writing is the fulfillment of a life-long dream. So far, so good. It’s not always easy but the flexibility, freedom, and satisfaction are more than worth it.
- Is Content Writing Easy? (Explained By a Full-Time Blogger)
- Is Content Writing Worth It? (Explained for Beginners)
- How Do Websites Make Money With Ads? (Explained)
- How To Make 5K a Month Blogging (Real Examples)
Fronteirsin.org (Research on Stress and Entrepreneurship)